The New Orleans Saints are an 0-4 team and the only 0-4 team in the NFC at that. However, if you think that they are truly one of the worst teams in the league, you might have another thing coming.
The idea of running down the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South seems to be out of the question, but the Saints aren’t out of the playoffs by any stretch of the imagination. They have a home game against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday Night Football this week, and they are 3 ½-point favorites for NFL picks in that game. If they hold serve, they’ll be right back in the thick of things going into their bye in Week 6.
The defense is clearly going to have to improve, as this is a unit that has allowed at least 27 points in all of its games this year. However, we have gotten used to the Saints playing the 100-yard version of arena football over the course of the last few years, and they even won a Super Bowl that way.
It’s not like the offense is that far off from being special. QB Drew Brees has thrown for 1,350 yards and 10 scores against five picks this year, and his numbers are getting better and better every single week. Sure, his completion percentage is low at just 57.6, but since Week 1, that number has come back into the low-60s where we expect one of the most efficient passers in the game to be.
The rushing game had nothing going in Week 1 against the Washington Redskins either. The team had just 32 yards in that game on the ground, and RB Darren Sproles didn’t carry the ball a single time. Yes, when you look at New Orleans, you see a team that ranks 26th in the league at just 80.8 yards per game on the ground. However, over the course of the last three weeks, that number is up to 97.0 yards per game, which would be a lot more respectable of a number.
If New Orleans can take down the Chargers this week and get into its bye at 1-4, look out. This could be the team to watch in the NFC this year. Remember that it was just a missed field goal that cost the Saints a chance of beating the Green Bay Packers on the road just last week.